Washington unemployment quarters question
April 1, 2024 10:44 AM   Subscribe

I was laid off (amicably, due to lack of work) on Friday. If I file for unemployment on Monday April 1st, what will be my base year be? Will my filing count as an April filing, or will it count as March since the week begins March 31st?

The website says: "Your base year is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before the week in which you apply for benefits. For example, if you applied for unemployment benefits on Jan. 20, 2023, your base year would include wages earned from Oct. 1, 2021, through Sept. 30, 2022."

Since they specify "before the week in which you apply", I think this might mean that filing on Monday April 1st would actually be considered "March" since Sunday (the first day of the week) is March 31st. This would make my base year October 2022 - September 2023. That would be bad for me, because I got a much higher-paying job (think triple the income) in October 2023.

If I can get a base year of Jan 2023 - Dec 2023, my weekly benefit will be much larger, to the point where it's worth waiting and losing an extra week of income in order to file on April 8th instead.

I have tried calling unemployment and so far it just tells me the line is too busy for me to speak with someone and hangs up on me. How do I get my question answered definitively?

(As far as I can tell, I am not eligible for an alternate base year, because I did have enough hours, some were just at a much lower pay rate.)
posted by socktopus to Work & Money (2 answers total)
Have you tried using the website to sign up? It walks you through details and might tell you. You should be able to cancel without finishing, if you don't like the answer.
posted by flimflam at 12:53 AM on April 2

I agree the instructions are ambiguous. Whatever choice you make, be aware that there's an elimination week (i.e., if you wait til next week to file, you will not be receiving benefits for that week, either), which may affect your budgeting.
posted by praemunire at 2:04 PM on April 2

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